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Preparing for the Fantasy Football Playoffs - Running Backs

Year after year, fantasy football owners dive into the running back pool early in drafts.  This season, LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson (gasp!), Jamaal Charles, Matt Forte and Eddie Lacy started many fantasy drafts.  but as of Week 13, only Forte  ranks in the top 5 RBs.  Guys like Justin Forsett and Ahmad Bradshaw have turned into very valuable fantasy players and shifted powers, giving teams who skipped over backs early in drafts a huge advantage.  

Ronnie Hillman and Denard Robinson have been some of the best waiver wire moves this season and helped teams make a playoff push.  Hillman is now injured, handing the Broncos backfield back to Montee Ball and rookie C.J. Anderson.  Robinson has continued to score touchdowns, but has seen a steady decline in attempts and yards gained.  

Were you relying on Hillman or Robinson?  What are you going to do now?  

Let us know, let us help!

Best Matchups

Le'Veon Bell - @ Bengals, @ Falcons, vs Chiefs

Mark Ingram - vs Panthers, @ Bears, vs Falcons

  • Ingram rushed for 120 yards against the Niners, the first back to gain 100 yards since DeMarco Murray in Week 1.  He has rushed for 100 yards in 4 of the Saints last 6 games.  New Orleans has committed to running the football and the Panthers and Falcons are 2 of the 9 teams to have allowed 10+ rushing touchdowns.  The Bears have actually done a pretty nice job against running backs this season, but mainly because teams just throw it over the top.  Only the Jets have allowed as many passing TDs.  Joique Bell did gain 91 rushing yards and scored twice on Thanksgiving against the Bears.

Chris Ivory - @ Vikings, @ Titans, vs Patriots

  • The Vikings have been lucky this season, with Mark Ingram, Eddie Lacy, and Reggie Bush missing games due to injuries, and C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson going down during their matchup.  Right before their BYE week they allowed Alfred Morris to gain 92 yards and score 2 touchdowns.  Matt Forte and Eddie Lacy have rushed for 242 yards over the last 2 weeks.  Jonathan Stewart gained 85 yards on 12 carries in Week 13.  The Titans have allowed 6 backs to gain 100 yards (Le'Veon Bell 200 yards) and 3 have scored multiple TDs.  Ivory has gained 100+ yards twice this season and one time came against New England in Week 7.

Terrance West / Isaiah Crowell - vs Colts, vs Bengals, @ Panthers

  • Browns waived Ben Tate
    • The Browns backfield has been a difficult one to fully understand.  Tate's injury led to West leading the team in carries for the first 3 weeks.  Tate led the team in carries the next 4 weeks, before West taking over again the last 2 weeks.  Yet it is Isaiah Crowell who leads the team in touchdowns with 5. The Browns feature TD reliant fantasy backs, who have had success all season long.  Arian Foster and Jonas Gray (202yds, 4TDs) are the only RBs to rush for 100 yards against the Colts.  The Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans are the only teams NOT to have scored a rushing TD on the Bengals defense.  Even Doug Martin scored on the Bengals! The Panthers have allowed over 1,600 yards from the line of scrimmage and 14 TDs to RBs this season.

Montee Ball / Ronnie Hillman / C.J. Anderson - vs Bills, @ Chargers, @ Bengals

  • By the time the playoffs come around, we can only hope the Broncos backfield has been sorted. Anderson have each led the Broncos in RB fantasy points 4 times, Ball & Hillman three times and Juwan Thompson has done so twice.  After a matchup with the Bills (or your playoff BYE), Denver heads to San Diego and Cincinnati, who have combined to allowed 9 touchdowns to RBs in the last 5 weeks.

Worst Matchups

Marshawn Lynch - @ Eagles, vs 49ers, @ Cardinals
Andre Ellington - vs Chiefs, @ Rams, vs Seahawks
Giovani Bernard / Jeremy Hill - vs Steelers, @ Browns, vs Broncos
Jerick McKinnon / Matt Asiata / Ben Tate - vs Jets, @ Lions, @ Dolphins
Darren McFadden / Maurice Jones-Drew - vs 49ers, @ Chiefs, vs Bills

Taming the Bengals Run Defense

In Week 10, on Thursday Night Football the Bengals defense allowed 3 Cleveland Browns running backs to score touchdowns.  Le'Veon Bell could go off and finally score some touchdowns to start your playoff run, followed by Terrance West, and Isaiah Crowell getting another matchup with the Bengals, before C.J. Anderson (Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman?) get to run your team to a fantasy football championship!

Best Championship Weekend Matchups

If you made it this far and you own Mark Ingram (vs Falcons), Eddie Lacy (@ Buccaneers) and/or Chris Ivory (vs Patriots) you are the favorite to win your league!

Worst Championship Weekend Matchups

If you made it this far and own Marshawn Lynch (@ Cardinals), Le'Veon Bell (vs Chiefs), Matt Forte (vs Lions) and/or Arian Foster (vs Ravens), well good luck to ya!  There is no replacing these guys so go with what got you there, sit back, relax, and hopefully you get money for 2nd place!

Preparing for the Fantasy Football Playoffs - Quarterbacks
Preparing for the Fantasy Football Playoffs - Wide Receivers